For drinking today, it doesn't get better than the 1999 Cote Rotie la Landonne (the '99 la Mouline maybe). A monumental Cote Rotie, it offers an incredible perfume of cassis, licorice, smoked game and roasted herbs (among other things), full-bodied richness, a seamless texture and a finish that just won't quit. While a massive wine, with incredible concentration and density, this beauty is lively, elegant and weightless, with sweet, polished tannin. Perfumed and upfront on this occasion, it was served blind at the end of the retrospective and I actually thought it was the 1990. (JD)
Bright dark ruby, the deepest of these '99s. More sauvage aromas of black fruits, leather, game and black pepper; classic raw Syrah berries. Extremely dense, full and sappy; this saturates every millimeter of the palate. A remarkably glyceral, thick wine with great clarity of flavor and verve. Extraordinary reverberating finish throws off notes of black fruits, brown spices, pepper and earth.
Dark and still a touch tight, with a wall of bacony, mesquite-tinged toast holding the core of blackberry and fig fruit at bay. Lush, exotic fruit pushes through on the finish, with notes of musk, aged tobacco, roasted vanilla and hoisin sauce. The dark, toasty finish still needs more time to unwind fully. There's no Viognier, and, except for the 2002 vintage, this is never destemmed. (JM, Web Only-2008)
Deep purple. These last three reds were served in the reverse order and gave us a lesson in the increasing concentration and oak influence of the wines over time. This was the most focused. Deep purple. Extremely fresh and dense and energetic yet velvety. Some liquorice. Dramatic but a bit drying on the finish.
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